The tree was so stately and I couldn’t resist. It was such a fine day in a riparian forest in Santa Rita Mountains and Madera Canyon, Arizona. It was beastly hot as we trudged our way up the path from the state park to the great bird watching area at Santa Rita Lodge. We were sweating and grateful for some shade along the way. We stopped briefly at a small bridge and I couldn’t help but to walk over and hug this tree. Somehow I found it comforting and I hope the tree liked it too.
Trees have a natural attraction for me. On Vancouver Island while walking through a rare patch of old growth Douglas fir I had to stop to wrap my arms around its trunk. Of course my arms weren’t long enough to encircle the trunk but a long-armed hug was good enough. It was sort of a “thank you” for providing such a lovely setting and a hug of encouragement to keep it healthy and fit for years to come.
My encounter with the Baobab tree was in Madagascar. The odd-looking trees look like they were planted upside down with their roots sticking out of the top. It is known as “The Tree of Life” in parts of the world where it grows, as it provides materials for constructing buildings, water storage for thirsty people in its branches, and seeds and fruit are a source of rich energy foods.
Some Baobab trees are thought to be several thousand years old. Mother Nature is tricky with this tree, as they have no growth rings. Can you imagine no rings to count! And the larger trees can have trunks up to 35 feet in diameter, which if my math calculation is right 35x 3.14 (π ) = 109.9 feet in circumference. That is a lot to try to hug.